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  1. #1
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    in search of a good wildlife lens

    Have a d7000 and will have about 1500 to spend ...really looking for a zoom lens ...what would yall recommend .
    I've looked at the Nikon 80-400 mm the sigma 50-500mm and the 100-500mm..is there any thing else out there in the price range..will be shooting birds,deer,hogs etc...so will need to stay back 50-75 or maybe a 100 yards...thanks


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    Re: in search of a good wildlife lens

    In your price range I think the best option is the Nikkor 80-400mm. Great lens for the money and will be especially nice on a DX body.

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    Re: in search of a good wildlife lens

    I shoot a lot of wildlife and what I use as my primary lens is : Nikon 300mm F4 & 1.4 TC on a D3s or and now a D800. Works for me. The 80-400VR is way to slow, not very good in mornings or evenings when 90% of wildlife shoots occur. You would be better of with the Sigma 150-500.
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    Re: in search of a good wildlife lens

    Quote Originally Posted by salvatore View Post
    I shoot a lot of wildlife and what I use as my primary lens is : Nikon 300mm F4 & 1.4 TC on a D3s or and now a D800. Works for me. The 80-400VR is way to slow, not very good in mornings or evenings when 90% of wildlife shoots occur. You would be better of with the Sigma 150-500.
    Ahhh, the 80-400mm is slow, eh? I've not used one but have been considering it. I assumed you're talking about the AF being slow, right? Since the difference of 1 stop in aperture isn't all that significant, especially with the low light capabilities of the newer cameras.

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    Re: in search of a good wildlife lens

    Quote Originally Posted by Mojo Dave View Post
    Ahhh, the 80-400mm is slow, eh? I've not used one but have been considering it. I assumed you're talking about the AF being slow, right? Since the difference of 1 stop in aperture isn't all that significant, especially with the low light capabilities of the newer cameras.
    Yes it drove me crazy even with my D3s it was slow to focus. Shooting wildlife one stop is huge, it's the diffrence between a clean crisp image or just a so-so image.
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    Re: in search of a good wildlife lens

    If you have that kind of money to spend, go for a Nikkor lens. B&H has a good selection of the 80-400mm used with 8+ to 9+ (9+ is practically new) for grading and they are all under 1500. They also have a Tamron 200-500mm for sale, used. 200-500mm f/5-6.3 Di LD IF Autofocus Lens
    Cameras: Fuji X-Pro1 & Fuji X10


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    Re: in search of a good wildlife lens

    If you save your money a little longer,you might want to look into the Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 lens which will handle a1.4 Teleconverter.It's designed for a full frame camera,so I've read.The lens is fast,too.I shot the Sigma 50-500mm now and at 500mm
    6.3 it needs alot of light.
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    Re: in search of a good wildlife lens

    I'd look for a good used copy of a Nikon 300 f/4 and a 1.4 TC. I had te opportunity to take a few shots with one last Friday and really liked the images and focusing speed. Right now, I'm using the Sigma 150-500 HSM OS and while I like it, it really needs light at f/6.3 and 500mm.

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    Re: in search of a good wildlife lens

    +1 for the 300 f4 and teleconverters. I have seen superbly sharp images from that setup, and the samples I saw from the 80-400 at 400 made me shy away from it.
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    Re: in search of a good wildlife lens

    I've been using a Sigma 150-500 with my D7000 for over a year now and think it's a great lens for wildlife. I do a ton of backyard birding and it's been perfect. My Flickr Photostream is chock full of that combination if you want to take a look. Most of these were taken handheld as well, though 1/2 the owl shots were on a monopod.

    That said, my brother (who shoots Canon) just picked up the Sigma 120-300 f2.8 and I'm starting to wonder if that'll be my next lens. He's a newspaper photographer and has used it for sports, with and without a 2X converter, and he loves it. Rugged lens too - in the middle of shooting US Open Tennis it fell to the ground face first when his monopod lost its balance against a rail. While I wouldn't recommend this test, the lens hood absorbed enough of the shock that while it needed repair the lens didn't (and the crash was loud enough to get a rather ugly glance from Andy Murray).

    The one thing I'd say about the 120-300 is that it's significantly heavier. Would be a tough haul out in the woods and you're going to need to go into weight training to handhold it. But the idea of that and a 2x next time I'm out somewhere shoot in the wild is very tempting.

    And for what it's worth, Sigma service is excellent. The AF motor on the 150-500 stopped working after a year and they repaired it with a 10 day turn around. Can't beat the warranty.
    WJYPhoto likes this.
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